May 31, 20/20

Happy Day of Pentecost!

Happy May the Last!

Congratulations, y'all, for we've survived another month, and not an easy one, at that. We've seen isolation, anti-isolation protestation, a decline of the Covid-19 advance and a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. We've seen murder, and we've seen riot, fire and looting in retaliation. Up is down, and down is up. Dare we think that June will be much better? Dare we not hope it will be?

I read, yesterday, that walking barfoot on the earth will introduce the earth's negative charge into our bodies, which will act as an antioxident and increase blood circulation to the brain. My scientifically simple mind says that circulation to the peripherals might increase, as well, which is one of the aims of Dr. Reilly's anti-neuropathy treatments. So today I made my second walk barefoot on the front lawn. I had forgotten the feeling of grass beneath my feet. I had stopped walking barefoot when I moved to Charleston, because the grass was quite unpleasant, course and held little allure to me.My grass, though, is soft, cool and feels good to the feet. All I have to do is be sure I'm not walking on ant-hills - and I have to treat the ant-hills very badly so the nest will die. Then I can walk at will with relative ease.

Once again there were scriptures read in foreign language (Spanish, German and Greek only, this time) by the few people permitted to attend the mass in the church. I remember last year, when Becky bragged to our interim priest that I "spoke Irish." I was assigned to read the scripture in Irish. Fortunately I had two months to practice and try to learn to pronounce the words. I wanted to memorize them, but I didn't have THAT much time. It worked pretty well, and I was told that of all the languages recited, mine was the most interesting. Yeah, because nobody had heard Irish spoken before, and they had no idea if I was faking it or saying real words.

So today was the last day of unlimited use of Alleluias in the services. Now we go into a long season of "ordinary" use - like for the rest of the year and a few months into the next.

May 30, 20/20

This morning I drove out to the bank to cash a check that was given to me yesterday. Afterward, since my bank is half a block from Aldi's, I stopped in to pick up some potato chips. I found out that I could buy the same volume of potato chips there for less than what I would pay at Sams Club. Naturally, they aren't the same brand or flavor, but they are good enough for me (quite good, actually). While I was there, I looked into their freezer case and saw some gluten free doughnuts. They were chocolate covered, and they were calling to me, so naturally I had to take them home with me.

This afternoon, we watched the launch of the SpaceX rocket carrying two astronauts. They left from the same launch pad as the apolo missions were launched, so along with a sense of nostalgia, we watched history being made - again.

After all that, I was inspired to complete a project that I have had on the back burner since shortly after my ASUS laptop came to live with me, and that is to modify the terribly unusable lap table. It took less than 20 minutes and involved many trips to the tool storage so I could get the right drills and screw drivers and so forth. It works wonderfully well.

May 29, 20/20

This morning, I picked up Suzanne's computer from repair and returned it to her. She is not pleased that she can no longer trust her computer to work as it once did, and has resolved to replace it as soon as she can collect the funds to do so. Her requirements in a computer are so much higher than my own, but mostly because I don't do anything on it that requires the latest hardware or capabilities. My only requirement is that the computer boot up when I switch it on. A few times it did not, and I replaced the operating system in one, and the hard drive in two of them, and the battery in the third one. I've spent lots of hours working on computers, from mainframes to my little Toshiba, and I am more fearless than I probably ought to be. Suzanne hasn't got the technical knowledge or physical ability to do those tasks.

We had a good visit with Suzanne, then came home to continue our hermitage.

May 28, 20/20

This morning I placed a call to Asheville Computer Company to inquire about Suzanane's HP Laptop computer. They got the keyboard working, but now the touchpad has failed, and they cannot resurrect it. In addition, the hinge system has failed to hold the top to the lap, so to speak, and they have no alternative but to epoxy the case shut. The computer's only four years old, Suzanne says, so the case should not be in as much decay as was described to me over the phone.

At any rate, I should be able to pick it up for her in the morning and deliver it to her. She's been going through withdrawal without it. I knew i should have left my Asus with her. That way she would have been going crazy trying to use Linux while her computer is undergoing "Meatball Surgery," a M*A*S*H reference.

May 27, 20/20

First thing this morning, I went to see Dr. Cammarata, the Orthopedist, to get the results of last Friday's MRI. I do have a bone spur, as he had suspected, and in addition, the spur has been slicing the rotator cuff. He injected some Cordisone for pain relief, and says if it helps, it will only be temporary (encouraging as it sounds - not). I'll see what Dr. Reilly has to say about it, for he uses laser to stimulate tissue growth and healing, and also Trigenics to train the muscles how best to move so as not to perpetuate injuries. He may know a magic cure that will eliminate the need for surgery. As much difficulty as they had bringing me out of anesthesia the last time, I'm not eager to return to it.

May 26, 20/20

This morning, I called the CPAP place, got a recording and left my name and number and described the reason for my call. I was assured that I would get a call back within two hours.

Becky had a 10 AM appointment to get her allergy shots, so I put Suzanne's computer in the car and took Becky to the "shooting gallery" (allergy partners) to get shot. After our 30-minute obligatory wait, we drove to the computer shop and dropped off the HP Doorstop. They said they would call me when they find out what is wrong and how they can fix it.

BTW, I didn't get a call from the CPAP place today.

May 25, 20/20

Happy Memorial Day!

Being a holiday, I could not take Suzanne's computer to the repair shop. Nor could I call the CPAP provider. What a waste of a day.

Well, not entirely wasted. I did mow the lawn. My little Honda mower does such a good job!

May 24, 20/20

We visited with Suzanne to celebrate her brother Brian's birthday. We had steak, chicken, pork, macaroni salad, potato salad, hummus and vegies and our choice of libation. Naturally, we didn't eat everything that was offered, but what we had was delicious.

Afterward, we had some cake. There were two types, an English Sandwich Cake (made with flower and so off limits to Becky and me) and a flourless chocolate torte (the ingredients being chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate and eggs).

Becure during and after our meal, I was doing my best to pretend I knew what I was doing and changed the keyboard in her HP laptop computer. The new keyboard did not relay any information to the computer, so it will go to the computer hospital for diagnostic and repair. I hope I didn't kill it.

When I switched on my SPAP this evening, I found a message that read, "Motor Life Exceeded. Please contact healthcare provider". Well, I couldn't, because they have hours of 9-5, M-F, and it was Sunday night.

May 23, 20/20

Happy LunaVersary!

The days are getting longer and shorter at the same time. I think it has something to do with the amount of time spent napping during the Springtime.

This being Saturday, we had nothing particular to do today, but we took the occasion to visit Starbucks, then take a ride across Asheville on the Blueridge Parkway. We always enjoy those rides. Becky enjoys watching the scenery glide by at a sedate 35-45 MPH, and I enjoy driving along on the battery until the speed limit raises and creating quite a following. The Brittish would call it a "Tail Back", where there's a slow-poke putting along and nobody can pass because of the double yellow lines.

And speaking of Double Yellow, one of our local weather reporters pronounces the call letters of the station (WLOS) "Double Yellow S".

May 22, 20/20

I went out early, today, to get an MRI done on my left shoulder. My other MRIs were done at Asheville Imaging, where I was required to change into a hospital gown, leaving all of my earthly possessions in a locker. Today, though, was at EmergOrtho (Asheville Bone and Joint), where i was required to empty my pockets and remove my MedID bracelet. The MRI tube seemed smaller than those I have been in before, and the result is that I think I've disloged a rib in my back. It hurts when I breathe, so it's either that or an anterial displacement of a vertebra.  Either way, I will have to see the bone mechanic to have my frame re-rigged. Naturally, he isn't open on Fridays or over the weekend, so I'll have to grin and bear it.

As I had expected, I was not told the results of the MRI, and unlike the other place, I was not given a DVD with the images on it, so I couldn't even look introspectively for myself. They will send the results to the surgeon, who will tell me the results when I see him next Wednesday.

May 21, 20/20

Well, it didn't rain, today, though the weather forecast was for rain every day this week and through next weekend. If I had known it wasn't going to rain, I might have been tempted to mow the lawn. On the other hand, when I went out to take a photo of the wee yellow flowers on the grass (see my facebook page), the grass was not dry, which meant the soil was not dry, which meant I would have damaged the lawn. Sloth wins again!

last weekend I had ordered a new keyboard for Suzanne's computer. It came in the mail today. Now all I hope is that I can replace it without destroying her laptop. If it's anything like my Asus, I should have no trouble with her HP. She must have a heavy keystroke when she types, for there are several keys that don't work for her, anymore. I don't think I've ever worn a keyboard out, other than wiping the letters off the key caps, which I've done on three keyboards, now. Too bad I've learned to be a touch typist, so who needs letters on the keycaps?

May 20, 20/20

We were expecting a shipment of salmon from Wild Alaskan Co. to come in on Thursday (tomorrow). It came today.

I wasn't expecting the shipment of CPAP supplies for another week, but it came today, also.

I'm expecting a replacement keyboard tomorrow, but it did not come today. I know I shouldn't feel disappointed, but with the other deliveries arriving ahead of schedule, and with Amazon having been normally ahead of schedule, I fully expected its arrival today. As they used to say on a kids cartoon show about 65 years ago, "Maybe tomorrow for sure."

May 19, 20/20

Today I decided to check out the latest issue of Ubuntu - 20/04. I had booted it up as an uninstalled trial running on a USB. That test showed me nothing, so I decided to install it on my Toshiba Netbook. I had run Ubuntu on it, earlier, starting with 16.04 and ending with 18.20, and it worked pretty well, so I wasn't worried about it being a small and mal-nourished "computer." This time, though, the installation took almost two hours, and subsequent reboots (necessary after the installation and after subsequent updates) took quite a long time, too. Once the boot-up was complete, though, it worked well enough. It has a newer LibreOffice than is available on MX-Linux (Why? Anyone's guess, other than Ubu's version is a Snaps app - don't ask).

Not wanting to initiate a boot-up, then go and bake a loaf of bread before I use the computer (exaggeration, of course), I will likely revert to MX-Linux on that computer. It will make it more usable, and make me less impatient.

May 18, 20/20

First thing this morning, I paid a visit to the Chiropractor. He was pretty busy, because he is working only half-days, during the Great Isolation, and because all of his patients still need his help from time to time. He said he woud retur to full time at the end of the month, so there's no worries, and it will be easier for his schedule. We discussed my visit to the Orthopedist, and was relieved when I told him that I wasn't going to rush into surgery.

The aforementioned Ortho had put my left shoulder through its paces, and armed with his x-rays of the offenting joint, determined that it might easily be a bone spur. To be sure, I'm scheduled for an MRI next Friday. He mentioned that cortisone shots may well be some relief, and if necessary, he could always do some laproscopy and declaw the bone. At this point, of course, it would be elective surgery, so that is on the back burner, just in case.

Later in the day, I went to the store to restock our supply of food. (Exciting).

May 17, 20/20

Another Sunday at home, at least for Church. I'm getting much better at balancing the laptop on my lap at an angle that Becky can see at the same time. On the other hand, I'm having to fight the drowsiness during the Prayers of the People.

But today is our friend Carol's birthday. Her daughters organized a Drive-by Flowering. While Carol stood on the corner by her house, nine cars filled with well-wishers, rolled by slowly and, to quote her older daughter, "threw flowers at her," and yelled things, like Happy Birthday, "XX isn't old if you're a tree" or something (not really, the old thing).

I think I actually got a bit of a nap, today.

May 16, 20/20

St Brendan's Day!

As a navigator from way back, this should be my day, as well. I remember, when Dad was driving from Cleveland to Indianapolis, he handed me a road map and told me to keep track of where we were. I don't recall ever having any training in map reading, but was able to keep track of our position all the way. I suppose it was a ploy to keep me quiet during the trip, and while I wasn't exactly quiet, I did as I was told. I remember that when I was 10 years, or so, I was able to name the exact roads we would travel from Indy to Cleveland, as well as the entry and exit interchanges on the Ohio Turnpike. 

When I was in the Navy, I maintained the Navigation Center of my submarines, which technically had nothing to do with being a navigator, but more to do with computer maintenance. Still, I spent a lot of time at the Quartermaster's station, looking at the navigational charts, not really to see anything, just because I enjoy maps and charts.

When I learned to fly, naturally I had to learn the finer points of navigation. Pilotage, or navigation with reference to charts and the ground, is how I started flying. Then I progressed to electronic nagivation using ranges (that would identify a point on the ground toward which I would fly, compensating for wind along the route) and omnidirectional ranges (that would identify a line along the earth along which I would fly using a course deviation indicator to keep me on track). I stopped flying just as GPS was breaking onto the aviation market. I made one GPS approach to an airport, but was about 400 yards beside the runway when I got to decision height, so I had no chance of landing there. I was with an instructor, at the time, and GPS wasn't authorized for actual use, yet.

These days, I don't carry road maps in my car. For a few years, now, I've been using the GPS on my cell phone, and would use it routinely because I might get distracted as I drive and might need some reminders to turn left at the next intersection, and so forth. Now, my car has a road map, and while it is labled GPS, it really is not GPS. It has no contact with satellites, just a roadmap on a DVD.

May 15, 20/20

Beware the Ides of May!

I had a 10:30 appointment with Dr. Cammarata, an Orthopedist, to examine my left shoulder. The shoulder has been painful for quite a while, and I had seen a different orthopedist twice before. He had identified the problem as an impinged nerve. My chiropractor strongly disagreed, and said it was a biceps tendonitis. Dr. C, though, took some x-rays and determined that it was, more likely, a bone spur that is agrevating the biceps tendon and has scheduled me for an MRI next Friday to see if there is other soft tissue damage that might need to be addressed, should surgery be necessary for the bone spur. Naturally, in these days of rampant virus, any surgeon worth his license is reluctant to perform any surgery that isn't absolutely necessary. I'm all for that caution, as well.

In the afternoon, we received our Stimulus Check, so Becky and I both went to the bank to deposit it, then swung by Starbucks for a celebratory cup of coffee. We took the long way home, via the Blue Ridge Parkway. I noticed that we were riding on the battery for most of the way on the parkway, being slightly downhill, predominantly. I'm still new enough to hybrid cars that I get a kick from battery operation.

May 14, 20/20

Becky had an appointment with the "Duty Vampire" at the medical lab, this morning. After that, of course, we stopped at Starbucks. Well, we had to replace the fluids she lost. Then I finally found out how to send an email to Starbucks to complain about having made three purchases for which I received no stars toward a Reward. It only took two emails to get the situation resolved. I now have all the stars that I should have.

After lunch, then, I made a call to the T-Mobile store for some guidance on returning the old cell phone. It was easier than I had thought, so I boxed it up, sealed the box, applied the Return Authorization lable to the box and took it to the UPS Store and let them send it off at no charge to me.

That's about it. I managed to avoid giving in to the urge to mow the lawn again.

May 13, 20/20

Friday the 13th came on a Wednesday this month!

I started the laundry when I got out of bed at 7:13. Just as I put the towels in the dryer and the dark clothes in the washer an hour later, Suzanne called to invite us to come and either retrieve a container of split pea soup, or stay for a while and have some for lunch. We opted for the latter at "about noonish", which would give me enough time to get the towels from the dryer, put the dark clothes into it and load the white clothes into the washer.

On the way to Suzanne's house, we were halfway up her mountain when we passed a couple children looking really happy to have seen a car, their parents' car, for what might have been the first time in two months. then we went around a corner and a flight of four goldfinches leapt from the grass and flew across the road, almost as though they, too, were enjoying the great outdoors for the first time in a long time. I don't think I had ever seen an actual goldfinch before, but their size and color said they could be no other birds.

The aforementioned soup was tremendously good, and it was accompanied by some gluten-free bread with Guacamole and Cheese on them, having just come from the oven. I also had a cup of coffee. It was a good lunch, eaten at leisure with lots of talking. Then we went to the living room for more conversation and a Yasso Bar (frozen yogurt). We were there for about 3 hours before I remembered I still had clothes in the dryer, and we left - with a container of split pea soup! Yum.

On the way down the mountain, at the same point as on the way up, we saw the goldfinches again. They were as joyful as before, and I was as excited to see them as the last time.

May 12, 20/20

I went to the grocery store this morning to buy some necessities, and on the list was Puffs Tissues. Guess what - there was one three-pack of lotion-free (our preferred ones) on the shelf. It magically got into my shopping cart without disappearing!

When I got home, Becky called Allergy Partners to see if she could come in for her shots, and they said "Sure," and gaver her an appointment time about 20 minutes from the time she called. We got there right on the scheduled time, she got her shots, we waited for the required 30 minutes in the car, and then went on our way.

Our way took us to the church so I could drop off our Pledge Envelope. While I was in the church, I found two men installing another piece of equipment in the Sanctuary, directly over the pulpit. I didn't look to see what it was, and I didn't ask, but put the envelop in the alms basin, picked up my bottle of The Spray (a.k.a. Thieves) that I had left there the last time we had services in the building, and left.

Do you remember the email I received from T-Mobile yesterday? The one with the tracking number of it? Yeah, well, so did I. I clicked on the tracking number, and this was only 20 hours after I received it, and the tracking was live. Not only that, but they said I would receive the phone before 9 PM. I received it at 1:43 PM! Part of the startup routine for the new phone, which is identical, by the way, to the one I had dropped and needed to replace, was to "restore" the data from the old phone. In almost no time, the entire contents of the old phone were there - all the apps, all my address book contents, all my notes - all there.

In addition, I finally realized that if the data was there in a backup file with yesterday's date on it, I didn't need to back anything up. I also realized that if it wouldn't accept my password, and I was likely entering the wrong password, that I could likely change the password, which I did, after which I was able to do a Factory Reset to erase all the data in the old phone.

I must have taken a sip of Felix Felicis in my dreams last night! Everything went right for me today! What a day!

May 11, 20/20

I waited until almost 9 AM, this morning, and drove to the T-Mobile store so see about replacing my cell phone. I fully expected them to jump at the chance to sell me a replacement phone, and in truth, I didn't want an "insurance replacement" because the last time I got one, it wasn't the same kind of phone and it was completely unsatisfactory. However; they looked up my account and I guess decided I wasn't eligible for an upgrade at this time, so they arranged for the insurance to replace it. They charged me $5.00 only! They said I'd get an email telling me about the progress of the phone across the country, and it would have a tracking number on it. I had the email before I got home! It said that the tracking number (which was included) could take up to 40 hours to become active. No problem, that's less than two days, I can wait.

The rest of the day I tried to see what I needed to do to back up my old cell phone's data so I could then "restore" it to the new phone when I got it. I tried to log into the backup site, and there was no way. None of my passwords worked. I finally gave up trying, and deliberately deferred the writing of this blog entry because I was - well, it wouldn't be so nice.

More, tomorrow...

May 10, 20/20

Happy Mothers Day!

I sat at my computer to listen to the public radio program, PipeDreams, but before the end of the third piece, I was feeling faint, so I turned off the music, put the computer to sleep and moved to the recliner to snooze. By the time Becky was done with her shower, I realized that I was hungry, so she made a good breakfast of eggs and sausage, which made me very happy and feeling right again. At the end of the meal I took my daily allotment of "dietary supplements", which now includes one drug, Metformin, which was prescribed last week, received and started two days ago. 

Church, this morning, was excellent, a decent mention of Mothers Day and mothers everywhere, followed by a good sermon, in which we heard that if we're feeling that everything is turned upside down, we're not to worry about being crazy, but that we're just observant. That was followed, of course, by a message of assurance and salvation.

We both slept the afternoon away, during which I had some dreams in which I would move from my chair and pant for a while. After several repetitions of that, I realized that I was having apnea attacks due to my slouched position on the recliner. Maybe I need to rig my second CPAP (the old one that I used for 10 years and was replaced) by the chair so I could use that while I was napping. It would be easier, though, to nap on the bed.

At any rate, I'm pretty sure my feeling faint at the start of the day had nothing to do with driving Gregg home from the hospital. It was a combination of the new medication having taken two pounds of waste from my intestines Friday evening and me not drinking sufficient liquid to replace the liquid I lost then. I was warned to expect loose bowels when I started the medication, and sure enough, it happened. Yesterday and today, though, I had no similar trouble, so we'll see how it goes from here on out.

May 09, 20/20

I was going to mow the lawn, this morning, but it was 37 degrees when I awoke. By the time it was warm enough for me to remember my intention, I got a call from Suzanne saying that Gregg (her brother) just left the house in an ambulance. In the old days we would have said, "Oh, he had a fainting spell," much like I used to have back in the 50s and 60s. These days, though, what with a killer virus on the loose and killer hornets flying around (still on the West Coast, so I understand), I'm sure I would have taken the same ride. The difference, though, is that he would have no ride home. Since it costs a lot less for me to pick him up at the hospital and return him to his home, I readily volunteered my service. It was two hours later when I got the call they were releasing him, and by the time I arrived at the Emergency 1 door, he was standing there, waiting. I got him home in short order, took a few minutes to give Wyatt (their cat) some long-overdue scritches while he gave me some equally overdue head rubs under my chin. Then, with my task completed, I returned home. That was far better than mowing the lawn.

That was a pretty good highlight to my day.

May 08, 20/20

This morning we awoke to 43 degree, wet weather. It's overcast and gloomy. 

We watched the Paranormal Quiz on YouTube. It was surprisingly good. Jim Harold, host, did a good job with the quiz board (like Jeopardy, but five columns of six rows). Three contestants take turns choosing questions and is required to try to answer. If they get it right, they get the points. If they answer wrong, they lose the points, and the next contestant gets a change to answer, but is not obligated to answer. The same points rules apply if they opt to answer. The prize - a T-Shirt.

I went to the store again today to get a short list of items. I noticed that the One Way signs that had been hung on the racks at about eye level, which were routingly being ignored by all, had been replaced with green squares on the floors with arrows indicating that you could enter that aisle from that end, or with an big X indicating that you may NOT enter that aisle from that end. It seemed to be working. I had business on four aisles. They all had to be entered from the back of the store, which meant that I spent half of my shopping time walking down aisles to get to the back of the store, after which I would walk back to the front, grabbing a few items on the way, only to repeat the process. It was a collosal frustration for me. I will either have to buy different items, or just resign myself to walking much more than I intended.

Harry Potter at Home is a new item on the internet. Daniel Radcliff read the first chapter 'The Boy who Lived' in the first book of the series, 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'. He read very well, didn't try to act the parts, but kept my attention well. The second chapter, 'The Vanishing Glass', was read by Noma Dumezweni who had played Hermione Granger on stage. She read really well, also, and was a bit more theatrical in her reading. There will be one chapter read by a different actor or actress every week until the book is finished. They say it is to bring a bit of magic into our homes during the Isolation.

May 07, 20/20

Becky had her Tele-Visit with Dr. Clements this morning. Well, since she's so "tech savvy", she let me set up the session on my laptop computer. So I logged into her Follow-my-Health account (the patient portal), did the preliminary tests of video and audio, and guess what...the portal could not detect camera or microphone! So the nurse called, got the PB, Pulse and Weight over the phone, then set up another appointment time and we tried it again - with the same results. So she set up a smart phone session with the doctor, and everything went well that time. She was advised to resume vitamin D3-2000 and is to go into the doctor's office next week for blood work.

It was just another wonderful day in paradise, blue skies and gentle breezes (for the time). 

When it came time for church, we went again to the desktop computer. Once again, though, the layman leading the Compline was not very loud, even at full volume, but it was better than on the laptop. 

May 06, 20/20

I awoke after a series of non-descript dreams, with full daylight illuminating the room, and I was convinced by the pain in my right hip that I'd slept until 10 AM. I moved the hip around, trying to ease the pain, which remained. Then I started stretching my hips to see if that would give me some relief, but it did nothing for me. After what seemed like an hour of trying to relieve a irrelieveable pain, I rolled edgeward and reluctantly (though convinced of the late hour) rose from the bed. When I looked at the clock, I learned that the hour was 7 AM. I felt cheated! 

Nevertheless, this being Wednesday (laundry day) and my hip hurting the was it was, I remained upright, did my morning routine in the bathroom, woke Becky in the process, and started the laundry. I managed to have it done before noon, during which "arduous labor" I managed a half-hour nap.

I have been napping so often and for so long, it seems, that even when I'm awake I feel like I'm asleep. I was working a crossword puzzle online, and now and again I would raise my head to see that the words I had entered into the grid were no longer visible to me, and slowly it occurred to me I had drempt their entry thereinto. Later, I was watching television and saw some pretty fantastic scenes, the likes of which could not possibly have been allowed in this country. Normally those scenes could only occur when watching the Harry Potter series, and sleeping through it.

We "attended" Compline this evening at the computer, rather than on the laptop while seated on the recliners. It was easier to remain alert all the way through it, easier to hold the prayer book and easier to hear the officiant. We decided on the change of venue mostly because the couple who officiate on Tuesdays and Thursdays have very quiet voices and aren't picked up very well by the microphone on their iPad. We'll do it again tomorrow to see if the desktop sound system is better to hear them with (like Grandma's big ears), and if so then perhaps make it our normal viewport.

May 05, 20/20

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Taco Tuesday!

It's unusual that Taco Tuesday comes on Cinco de Mayo. In honor of the day, I went to the store and bought all the fixins for tacos - that I could find, that is. In other words, I bought hamburger meat. We have the cheese, so there's the bulk of the stuffings. They didn't have taco shells or even soft corn tortillas. What's the matter with the store???

Our friend, Suzanne, though, did not let us languish in lack of Mexican food. She made a couple pans of Enchilada a la Lasagna (a decided Italian twist) and some Guacamole. She sent a pan of the Mexi-talian meal to us with a small container of Guac with her brother, Gregg, since he was coming into town, anyway. We will have enchilada meals all week, because she sent 10 servings of it, and we only ate two of them, today. Yum! Thanks, Suzanne and Gregg.

May 04, 20/20

May the Forth be With You!

I feel such a copy-cat posting that corny wish. I always think it sounds so silly when everyone and his brother or sister says it. I always get the impression they think they're being really clever. Of course, I never feel that way about people wishing me a Happy Pi Day. I wonder why the difference?

A few days ago I started using the "New Facebook", and the jury is still out as to whether I dislike it any less than the Old Facebook. I came in late to both the 1807 & Friends Short Concert and my church's Compline service. I was sitting there with my laptop on my lap, with the correct facebook pages running, and the first indication of trouble was when Amy started a Watch Partty. So I clicked on the Watch Party and got most of Nancy's introduction. Then I was able to listen to the concert without any trouble. Thanks, Amy.

When it came time for Compline, a little past the time it was to start, I received a facebook message saying that the service was live, so I clicked on it, and it hadn't actually started yet. Fr. Gary's wife, Chris, was sniffling in the background, and I felt that it was bad news about their 15-y-o cat, Lucci. Then the picture froze, and Gary restarted the live feed. By the time I got the run-arrow clicked, he had just started talking, and sure enough, they had to put Lucci to sleep, for there was nothing that could be done for her any longer. The rest of the service went well, and Lucci was included in the corporate prayers, as were Gary and Chris. Gary explained that when he was in Seminary, Lucci appeared outside his window on Christmas Morning, wanting to come in and get warm. So they gave her a warm home for the rest of her life. He said that everyone who attends Seminary there comes away with an animal of come sort.

May 03, 20/20

We had a wonderful surprise at church, this morning. When it came time for the Children's Time, there were actually two children in the sanctuary. Their mother is learning the ropes on the video system at church, and since her two sons had expressed a longing to be able to attend church again, they were permitted to come to church with her and, at the appropriate time, go running up the aisle to sit with Fr. Gary for their commentary on the scripture and how it relates to them today. Gary does a wonderful job of distilling the Gospel and relating it to a child's existence. I can understand why those two missed participating.

Afterward, we Zoomed into the Virtual Coffee Hour and got to share with about a dozen people. Everything went well until Gary told us about his cat, who is quite ill, had started bleeding and had to go to the Vet ER. He left the meeting to go join his wife, and when he logged out, the meeting ended. So that was a little shorter than intended, but things happen when you're using a new system and have an emergency to attend to.

We watched a "Reunion Apart" on YouTube. The host, Josh (someoneorother), explained this was the first ever Reunion Apart, and may be the last ever, which will remain to be seen. It was a reunion of the cast of The Goonies, one of our favorite movies. It was fun seeing the child-actors all grown up. Most of them looked pretty much as I expected, which is to say I could even recognize them. It was the adult-actors of the movie who I had trouble recognizing. Then, of course, they had to bring on the directors, producers, etc., none of which I could ever have recognized.  

May 02, 20/20

Yesterday, I noticed how tall and thick the weeds were in our front lawn, so like I had told the bees earlier, I backed the cars down the driveway, fueled up the lawn mower, rolled it out and fired it up. (I'm going to have to change the oil in it one of these days). I startedd with the uphill side lawn, thus giving the bees fair warning that I was coming for their crops next. I decided to mow from top to bottom, mostly, in order to spread the seeds down toward the street. I found out, though, that mowing vertically isn't the best way for energy conservation, because then I need to walk straight up the hill again. My hips are, thus, very stiff and sore, now. Besides, I've always been told to mow across the face of a hill, which is why I had always done it that way. After today, I will be returning to the old way.

Our back yard is a disaster. That's where most of the trees (3) are, and that's where the majority of the downed limbs are. It will take me a month of Sundays to get those cut up and carted to the street, and another month of Sundays to get the city to haul them away as they have always done until this year. I'm piling up clippings and an old chair that need to be hauled off, but of course they won't collect it because of Covid-19. When they finally do get around to surmounting their fears of death, there may well be rotting vegetation for them to collect, and maybe some vermin mixed into it.

That's all I did, today. I mowed for two hours, showered, ate lunch and rested. They're going to make a movie about my day, soon. I can feel it.

May 01, 20/20

May Day! m'Aidez!

I arose at six, got a cup of coffee and made ready for my digital doctor's visit. My appointment wasn't until 8:30, but I had some homework to do. I weighed myself (202 lbs, if you must know), then sat still for 10 minutes with a sphygmomanometer wrapped around my arm. When I took my BP reading, it was 122/72 - held artifically low by medication, of course. At 8:15, I logged into the "Waiting Room," and within four minutes, Nurse Toni was there. I gave her the weight and BP numbers, but hadn't taken my pulse because I have no clock with a sweep second hand, and I have trouble counting and remembering more than one number at a time.

At the appointed time, there was my doctor. We had a good, albeit general discussion about my health and habits, after which he mentioned that we had discussed the drug Metformin, and while I'm not diabetic, he had suggested that I read about the benefits to non-diabetics, too. I had read that information, and I had found no reason for me to refuse it any longer. Apparently it can act as an anti-aging drug, in some cases, turning back the clock a bit, and more importantly warding off cancer and heart disease. Well, I don't have cancer, nor do I want it, and while I do have some coronary artery disease, he suggested that the drug may even help with that condition, somewhat. "Ok, sign me up!" I said, in effect. We talked, for a bit, about the injuries from the auto accident last November, and the lingering pain in my left shoulder. He was  pleased that I was going to let an orthpedist evaluate it to see if anything invasive needs to be done. That was the whole visit done in less than 30 minutes.

I noticed that the weeks in the front yard are beyond tolerance, and I had said that I would take them down after April, so there's my morning, tomorrow.